Articles by Robin Powell

Opinion: Do falling fund fees make cost less important?

By Robin Powell on October 10, 2018

They remained stubbornly high for far longer than they should have done, but fund fees, at last, are coming down. Research by Defaqto earlier this year, showed how the average ongoing charges figure for a UK-domiciled…

Opinion: Is it time for the DFM to RIP?

By Robin Powell on September 27, 2018

Financial professionals of the future will struggle to get their heads around some of the ways we currently do things. The reliance of financial advisers on discretionary fund management (DFM) is a good example. Around 37%…

Opinion: What evidence is there that active managers possess skill?

By Robin Powell on September 10, 2018

One of the biggest problems facing journalists like me who write about the fund management industry is that distinguishing between luck from skill is extremely difficult. Some journalists write about active managers who happen to have…

We still don’t talk enough about investor behaviour

By Robin Powell on September 3, 2018

It’s taken a long time, but at last investor behaviour is receiving something like the attention it deserves. You might be a genius at picking stocks or timing the market, or know the academic literature inside…

Asset managers need to show warmth as well as competence

By Robin Powell on August 6, 2018

There can’t be many people working at a senior level in UK asset management who wouldn’t admit, if only privately, that the industry has a trust issue. It’s nearly three years since Daniel Godfrey was ousted…

Is passive investing driving higher returns?

By Robin Powell on July 23, 2018

As an advocate of passive investing, I’ve become a little cynical about all the scare stories surrounding index funds in recent years. We’ve heard, for instance, that they hinder efficient capital allocation and have a detrimental…

Benchmarking should help, not hinder, transparency

By Robin Powell on July 3, 2018

Benchmarking is part of modern life. Whether you’re deciding on a school for your child or a hospital for your operation, comparing holiday packages, or checking that you’re not overpaying for gas or car insurance, you…

Don’t let Brexit derail fund transparency

By Robin Powell on June 11, 2018

With the countdown ticking on Britain’s exit from the European Union, huge attention is being given to what it all means for the City of London. This, of course, is only right. The City is a…

Denying the transparency problem won’t make it disappear

By Robin Powell on May 9, 2018

I finally got round to watching Before the Flood the other day. For those who aren’t aware, it’s a documentary film about climate change, released in 2016. Commissioned by National Geographic, it was directed by Fisher…

Why Panorama won’t tackle fee transparency

By Robin Powell on April 26, 2018

At long last, we’re starting to see serious coverage of transparency issues in asset management in the UK press. For many years, it’s been blogs like mine, The Evidence-Based Investor, and groups like the Transparency Task…

Six ways that asset managers can start cutting costs

By Robin Powell on April 11, 2018

It’s one of the ironies of Thatcherism that, more than 40 years after the sudden deregulation of financial markets known as the Big Bang, the one sector of the UK economy that has not yet been…

Apple Asset Management? It probably will happen

By Robin Powell on March 19, 2018

I’m not an Apple obsessive. I don’t queue outside the Apple Store at 5am to buy the latest iPhone, and I’m sorry, but £160 for a pair of ear plugs is daylight robbery. But I love…